Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran Hold Anti-Terror Trilateral Summit


Starting Thursday, Pakistan will play host to leaders from Afghanistan and Iran, in a trilateral summit aimed at strengthening and promoting peace and security in the region. The two-day summit however comes amid high tensions between Tehran and the West.


Starting Thursday, Pakistan will play host to leaders from Afghanistan and Iran, in a trilateral summit aimed at strengthening and promoting peace and security in the region. The two-day summit however comes amid high tensions between Tehran and the West.

Afghan president Hamid Karzai and Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are expected to arrive in Islamabad today for the two-day summit. According to a spokesperson from the Pakistan Foreign Office, the “trilateral mechanism is important for Pakistan to discuss matters pertaining to cooperation in counter-terrorism, curbing transnational organised crime, including drug and human trafficking, and border management.”

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On a bilateral level, Pakistan and Iran are expected to make progress on a multi-billion dollar gas pipeline project despite strong objections from the United States. Similarly, Karzai is likely to discuss the issue of Taliban reconciliation in Afghanistan.

“We are looking to complete the pipeline project by 2014 to meet our energy requirements. It is important for our economic growth,” said Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Abdul Basit.

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The summit takes place at the height of immense pressure from the United States and international community over Iran’s nuclear ambitions. At the same time, Afghanistan’s security remains stuck in a precarious balance with the planned withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops by 2014.

On Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled new sanctions on Iran’s central bank in an attempt to force it to reverse course on its nuclear programme.

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The three nations have been holding the annual trilateral summit since 2009, but have so far made little headway in boosting mutual cooperation. According to analysts, the US influence on Afghanistan and Pakistan has prevented the forum, established on President Ahmadinejad’s initiative, from taking off in real terms.

 

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